Segments in this Video

What Is Truth? (01:48)


Rana Mitter introduces debate panelists Hilary Lawson, Dr. Hannah Dawson, and Professor John Searle. The topics debate center around defining truth, analyzing the nature of truth, and reinventing truth.

The Pitch: Hilary Lawson (05:26)

Ludwig Wittgenstein and Jacques Derrida believed it is not possible to directly describe reality in a direct manner through language. Lawson argues that there are constraints on closure. Instead of focusing on truth, philosophers should obtain wisdom by modifying narratives.

The Pitch: John Searle (04:25)

A distinction needs to be made between objective and subjective realism. Searle argues that epistemic sense is about claims made using feelings and attitudes and refutes Lawson's claims about perspectivalism. Mountains, atoms, and tectonic plates have an existence regardless of human being's opinions.

The Pitch: Hannah Dawson (05:17)

The idea that a word might represent an object is objectivity. Historians argue that history is a representation of the past. Dawson argues that a representation cannot commensurate with reality; facts are assertions.

Theme One: What Is Truth? (08:35)

Lawson refutes Searle's claims about obscuring the division between ontological and epistemic truth and provides the example of the Holocaust. All theories are perspectival and exist within a system. Epistemic objectivity is impossible.

Theme Two: Competing Truths (06:22)

Lawson explains the different criteria necessary for creating constraints or closures and does not advocate that there is a metaphysical reality. Searles argues perspectivalism is trivially correct. Dawson attempts to persuade Lawson to become a realist.

Theme Two: Beyond Truth (11:23)

Realism encourages individuals to think there are simple answers when there are multiple truths. Lawson argues that closures have become embedded. Realism addresses that there are items in the world that are epistemically objectively true or false.

Credits: After the End of Truth (00:22)

Credits: After the End of Truth

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A generation raised on Foucault and Derrida has learned to distrust claims to objective truth. Yet the mantra that 'there is no truth' is a paradox. Do we need a new conception of fantasy and reality to free us from the tyranny of truthmakers and the paradoxes of postmodernists alike? The Panel American philosopher John Searle, post-postmodernist Hilary Lawson and Historian of Ideas at King's College London Hannah Dawson untangle the truth.

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: BVL145261

ISBN: 978-1-64347-853-1

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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